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A deep dive into the state’s audit on prison reform and recidivism




California's Corcoran State Prison.
California's Corcoran State Prison.
Grant Slater/KPCC

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Ambitious goals were set in 2012 to help California inmates make the transition back to life on the outside.

But as the Los Angeles Times reports, a new state audit found that the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has not connected prisoners with social programs designed to keep them from going back into the prison system again. Recidivism rates, which are defined by whether people commit a crime within three years outside of custody, was described as “stubbornly high” in the state auditor’s report.

Even with a decrease in prison population, recidivism rates averaged 50 percent in the past 10 years. Programs to reduce recidivism rates may include therapy, anger management and substance abuse classes. For a deeper look into this report and its findings, Larry speaks to people familiar with the report, and how the prison system works.

We reached out to State Auditor Elaine Howle who wrote the report, as well the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and state Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles), who asked for an audit to be done -- they have yet to respond to our requests to join the show today

Guests:

Lenore Anderson, executive director for Californians for Safety and Justice, an organization that advocates for criminal justice reform based in San Francisco; attorney who was a coauthor and campaign chair of Proposition 47 that was passed in 2014

Michelle Hennessy,  president of the association of the Deputy District Attorneys Association of Los Angeles County